Critical thinking is being taught in schools more than ever, and businesses are placing greater importance on the critical thinking abilities of new hires.
What is Critical thinking?
Critical thinking is ideally an objective process used to determine the value of an argument, set of beliefs, claim or issue. Critical thinking usually employs logical reasoning and empirical evidence to reach a conclusion, and ultimately seeks to move away from personal biases, intuitions and preconceptions.
Analysis of ideas
Critical thinking allows us to play "devil's advocate" with ideas, allowing us to recognize possible failings.
People and organizations regularly try to sway individuals to believe a certain set of principles or take specific actions. Critical thinking allows us to recognize failings in certain arguments.
Good writing necessarily requires critical thinking. Writing is an amalgamation of logically constructed and organized ideas, an understanding of grammar and using effective word choices.
"Authentic" personal beliefs
Regularly examining our own beliefs can lead us to approach life in different ways. Feeling we have come to an understanding of the world through our own actions and thoughts (as opposed to having them dictated for us) can lead to feelings of self-worth and validation.
Through critical thinking, humans progress. Critical thinking ideally allows us to examine the value of our actions and thoughts. If they have no value, we stop engaging or thinking in them and adopt a new set of actions and thoughts.